Fury's back at the four-front

CHRIS OCCHIUZZI -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 10:17 AM ET

The Ottawa Fury are becoming quite the fixture in the W-League's final four.

The Fury clinched their third straight trip to the North American women's soccer championships with a 2-0 blanking of the Toronto Lady Lynx yesterday at Keith Harris Stadium.

"Toronto came out hard," said Fury midfielder Diana Matheson, who scored Ottawa's second goal and assisted on the first. "But we executed and played our game."

After beating the Lady Lynx by scores of 5-0 and 3-1 in their regular- season meetings, the Fury could have been excused for looking ahead. But that's not the Fury way.

Instead, they came out attacking, setting up numerous scoring chances early on before defender Robyn Gayle hit the scoresheet.

Gayle, who had pushed up for a Fury corner, took a pass from Matheson and found herself with the ball only a few feet from goal.

She turned and fired home the eventual winner, her first point of the season.

"(I was thinking) just put it on target," said Gayle. "It was crowded (in the box), so anything could happen."

From beginning to end, the Fury controlled the play and kept the Lady Lynx strikers from finding much space.

Toronto's best chance came late in the second half, when Holly Lincoln's shot from distance beat everyone, but couldn't get under the crossbar.

"Our team is good at possession," said Fury keeper Taryn Swiatek, a member of Canada's senior national team. "They rarely give up any chances."

On the other side of the pitch in goal, Toronto's Stacey Van Boxmeer was much busier, making some excellent saves and good decisions to keep her team in the match.

"We never give up, we play till the last whistle," said Van Boxmeer, also a national teamer. "They are a very hard team to play against, they're hard to defend."

The Fury now have a brief break before heading to New Jersey for next weekend's W-League North American championships. Ottawa finished third in the tournament last year after placing fourth in 2003.

"We know it's going to be tough," said Matheson. "Anyone we play there will have a tough team."

Ottawa (15-1) will play the Central Conference champion, the winner of Charlotte/Central Florida, in one semi-final Friday night.

The other semi-final will be a rematch of the 2004 title game between the defending W-League champion Vancouver Whitecaps (15-1) and the host New Jersey Wildcats (13-1).

chris.occhiuzzi@ott.sunpub.com

Fury 2

Lady Lynx 0

W-League soccer


Videos

Photos